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Tandem BASE Jumping a Growing Sport

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By Rachel Holt

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV )

The sport of BASE jumping continues to grow in popularity.

It's hard to believe tandem BASE is a relatively new sport, with great strides being made in the last year.

Sean Chuma, owner of Tandem BASE, estimates he has 280 tandem jumps under his belt, About a hundred of those happening in the last year alone.

Says Chuma, "tandem BASE jumping is for the average person who doesn't have any skydiving or parachute experience. If a person wants to do it by themselves they have to do about 200 skydives but with tandem BASE they can skip past all that and go with me on a tandem BASE and see what it’s like."

After completing her first tandem BASE jump with Chuma, Carey Youmans adds, "I think the scariest part was when I had to move up and put my toes over the edge of the board and that's when I looked down and saw how high up I was."

The Perrine Bridge is the only bridge in the United States that allows legal base jumping year round, whether it's sunny or snowing.

Chuma notes, "this is the place to come if you want to get a lot of jumps in. It's a very friendly place and the community embraces the sport for us."

The increasing popularity can be attributed in part to growing media attention.

Youmans adds, "once I started looking it up online, BASE jumping in Idaho, this was all over and there were a lot of stories and a lot of videos."

Chuma continues, "BASE jumping is kind of snowballing right now. Percentage wise there's not a lot of people that get to do it but they see it on TV more and more and they just want to try it out. It’s kind of a bucket list item for a lot of people."

Youmans explains her decision to do it but claiming, "this rush of adrenaline and I'm in Twin Falls once. Something to do here definitely and really an experience."

Notable jumpers include 102 year old Dorothy Custer and X Games gold medalist Travis Pastrana.

With more visibility, there's no telling who may make the Perrine Bridge their next take off spot in 2014.

For more information, visit www.tandembase.com.


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